WILMINGTON — The Salesianum student section sat stone-faced when Justin Molen opened the Sals’ basketball season with a three-point swish. They watched impassively as Isaiah Hynson added a pair of free throws.
But when Hynson drained a pull-up jumper a minute later, the students went nuts. It was the school’s annual Silent Night, when there is no cheering by the student fans until the Sals score their seventh point. The home fans had plenty to cheer about the entire game as Salesianum began their year with a convincing 72-26 victory.
The veteran Sals, with seven seniors on the roster, were just too deep and too much for St. Andrew’s.
Salesianum would take a 12-0 lead before Brandon Graves hit one of two free throws to get the Saints on the board. But Molen hit a baseline triple after that, and the first quarter ended with the Sals on top, 24-4.
Sophomore Justin Hinds provided a spark off the bench in the second quarter. He drilled a thre-pointer early in the frame, then intercepted a Saints pass and took it in for an acrobatic dunk that electrified the crowd. His classmate, Hynson, who emerged as an option for the Sals last season, got hot in the second quarter, when he scored six points. The last two of those came at the buzzer.
The Sals’ depth was evident in the third quarter. Sam Walsh got hot from the field and scored all seven of his points in the third, and William Mutts added a pair of threes. The lone bad news came with just over three minutes remaining in the third, when Molen went down with some sort of injury; he did not return.
Molen led the Sals with 14 points, including three of the team’s nine three-pointers. Hynson had 12, and Hinds added 10. A total of 10 players scored for Sallies, who are 1-0. They host Philadelphia powerhouse Imhotep Charter on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Graves led the Saints (1-2) with 11. They visit Wilmington Christian on Monday at 5:15 p.m.
All photos by Jason Winchell.